2014 Gregory James Hawk Hill Vineyard Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

13.6% alc., pH 3.23, TA 0.69, 220 cases, $52. Released October 2016. Winemaker Gregory James has worked with Hawk Hill Vineyard for over 13 years. 7 acres of Chardonnay planted primarily to Clone 5 (Wente) in 1985 on a ridge top high above the town of Freestone. Harvest Brix 22.0ยบ. Whole cluster pressed, inoculated with a select White Burgundy yeast strain, infrequent lees stirring during primary fermentation. 3 week primary fermentation, malolactic fermentation over 5 months. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 22% new and 78% neutral. The wine remained on its lees during malolactic fermentation without stirring, and eventually racked off the lees to allow for natural clarification of the wine two months before bottling. · Moderate golden yellow color in the glass. Terrific aromatics, offering scents of honey, apple, spice, and a hint of butter and oak. Very classy with brisk acidity, offering juicy flavors of lemon and apple with a bit of nut oil. The lip-smacking and lifted finish goes on and on and leaves an memorable impression. Score: 94. Reviewed April 19, 2017

Winery: Gregory James
From article: Sips of Recently Tasted California Chardonnay